Spencer Cricket Club skipper Neil Baker is enjoying a case of third time lucky after his charges secured promotion to the Premier Division of the Surrey Championship last Saturday.
After suffering relegation to Division One in 2009, the Fieldview team have endured back-to-back third-place finishes, but a 32-run win over Old Whitgiftians on Saturday confirmed Spencer will be
promoted as champions.
But they almost blew it on the day.
Having elected to bat, only Baker (44) showed any fight as Spencer were bowled out for 147.
However, Daniel O’Shea (3-18) and George Edwards (3-25) put Old Whitgiftians to the sword and they were skittled for 114 off 33.4 overs.
Baker said: “We got ourselves in a little bit of trouble with the bat.
“At one point we were 78-8, but we managed to dig ourselves out a little bit and get a score we felt our bowlers could defend, and they did that brilliantly, as they have done all season.
“We probably have the best bowling attack in the league and they have stood up strong for us when they have needed to. Last Saturday was no exception.”
Although relieved that the monkey of just missing out on promotion is off their back, Baker said they always knew they could win promotion.
He said: “We felt last year that we didn’t play very well at all and we still managed to finish third.
“We felt if we put it together this year we could be one of the strongest teams in the division. Ultimately, we got it right and we are delighted and really excited about the new season.”
Spencer will start life in the Premier Division without opener Andrew Mawson.
Mawson, who hit 3,619 runs and averaged 32.6 in a seven-year stint at the club, played his final game against Old Whigiftians and is moving north to start a teaching job.
The Division One campaign ends on Saturday with the visit to Valley End.